SULPHUR — To become outright district champions and avoid a three-way tie atop the standings, all the Sulphur Bulldogs had to do was avoid losing by more than 15 points.

SULPHUR — To become outright district champions and avoid a three-way tie atop the standings, all the Sulphur Bulldogs had to do was avoid losing by more than 15 points. 

Instead, the Bulldogs took the district 3A-4 championship in style, cruising past the Seminole Chieftains 34-8 at Calvin Agee Field on Friday to go undefeated in district. 

Sulphur will return home to face the Purcell Dragons in the first round of the class 3A playoffs, at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Calvin Agee Field.

After honoring its seniors on Senior Night, Sulphur (9-1, 6-0), with its dominant defense and relentless rushing attack, got past a sloppy start and scored 34 unanswered points against the Chieftains (7-3, 4-2).

“We got off to a slow start and I thought Seminole played extremely well,” Sulphur  coach Jim Dixon said.

 “There was a lot of good hard hitting out there and both teams got after it. I was proud of our kids. We needed that.”

Sulphur fumbled on its opening possession, giving the Chieftains the ball in Bulldog territory, but Sulphur senior Hunter Haines wiped out the mistake within three plays, intercepting Seminole’s Hunter Wurtz and returning the ball deep into Seminole territory.

Sulphur running back Trey Kiser cashed in on the turnover seven plays later, scoring on a 3-yard touchdown rush to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. Kiser carried the ball for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

Both Seminole’s and Sulphur’s defenses held strong on five consecutive possessions, turning the ball over on downs or forcing turnovers until a Seminole punt pinned the Bulldogs on their own 5-yard line.

On nine consecutive rushing attempts, the Bulldogs marched 95 yards down the field to extend their lead. Kiser, after breaking off a 51-yard rush to flip the field, was given the ball on a fourth and two and initially appeared to be swallowed up several yards behind the line of scrimmage. 

But the Bulldog running back kept churning his legs, and eventually squirted free from the gang of Chieftain tacklers to find the endzone on a 4-yard touchdown carry to put the Bulldogs up 14-0.

Seminole looked to be driving on its next possession after Wurtz connected with Seminole receiver Jordan Rodriquez on a 27-yard reception to put the ball into Sulphur territory late in the second quarter. 

However, Sulphur’s Hunter Haines put an end to the drive with his second interception of the game.

Haines made sure the Bulldogs took advantage of the turnover four plays later as he found himself on the receiving end of a 50-yard touchdown pass by Dawson Muck to extend Sulphur lead to 20-0 at halftime.

Dixon said Haines and the rest of his seniors had a big game on Senior Night. 

“(Haines) played real good, he’s a leader on the team,” he said. “We got 17 seniors and they’re a tightly knit group and they all worked their tails off tonight.”

Seminole received the kickoff to start the second half, but once again the Bulldog defense held the Chieftains to another three-and-out.

After a 16-yard punt by Seminole, Sulphur running back Brant Miller took advantage of the favorable field possession in Chieftain territory, scoring on a 35-yard touchdown rush to give the Bulldogs a 27-0 lead early in the third quarter.

Sulphur’s defense would hold the Chieftains to another punt before scoring its final touchdown of the game. Sulphur’s Bradley Vineyard made it 34-0 on a 17-yard touchdown rush to seal the game.

With two-minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Chieftains got on the scoreboard on with running back Jamon Dennis scoring on a 9-yard touchdown carry and later punching in the 2-point conversion to cut the Bulldogs lead to 34-8.

Kiser led the rushing attack for the Bulldogs, with 110 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. 

Sulphur’s Brant Miller carried the ball for 84 yards and a touchdown, with Vineyard carrying the ball for 77 yards and a touchdown in the winning effort.

Sulphur quarterback Dawson Muck passed for 67 yards a touchdown and an interception on Senior night. In addition to his two interceptions on the defensive end, Hunter Haines led the way with a 59 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Despite claiming the district championship, Dixon said his team needs to keep improving with the playoffs starting next week in a tough 3A field.

“We got a tough road to hoe ahead, but the kid have improved every week,” he said. “We just need to keep getting better.”